Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, innovative players and industries operating in the health sector have been pressed to collaborate, innovate, and accelerate their research and development efforts in response to these unprecedented times. The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), the trade association that represents biopharmaceutical companies around the world, has been at the forefront of this effort. IFPMA members stated and demonstrated their strong sense of responsibility to act –putting their resources and expertise, to develop potential treatments and vaccines, in partnerships with biotechnology companies, public agencies and academic institutions.
As healthcare companies and, the private sector at large, are working towards solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic, a common theme is emerging – young professionals are rising up, joining forces, and facing these challenges head on with unwavering confidence, in order to contribute to a solution now and shaping a sustainable future. Reflecting on this trend, we identified the need for a platform that allows young professionals, in the innovative healthcare industry, to connect and grow in response to an ever-changing global health landscape.
That’s how HYPER came about. The full name describes our main intent – HYPER Healthcare | Health: Youth Perspectives. EmpoweRed – a platform serving to mobilize, equip, and connect young representatives in the healthcare sector. HYPER Healthcare will aim at empowering young professionals by increasing their exposure to and understanding of global health issues. By doing so, it will leverage and reinforce the culture of networking and will enable young professionals to share their stories and learn from each other.
As organizations seek to build informed coalitions that are better equipped to tackle global health challenges, an initiative like HYPER is a clear solution. For some time, young aspiring leaders have been expressing the importance of youth and collaboration in addressing great global challenges, such as climate change. In the process of setting up the new platform, young professionals from more than ten companies and trade associations expressed the need for the industry to be strongly connected to issues in public health, with an ensured share of voice for youth. HYPER can be the answer that the leaders of tomorrow have been looking for.
Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, we have identified several thematic areas for further discussions, including sustainability of health systems, strengthening of regulatory systems, vaccines policy, entrepreneurship, access to medicines, combating antimicrobial resistance. This new kind of platform will connect and empower the voice of young professionals for advancing global health policies in a forward-looking and sustainable direction.
2020 will without a doubt be remembered as the year that COVID-19 tested health systems globally, but also as a time of unprecedented cooperation, in which research-based biopharmaceutical companies spearheaded the global efforts to provide innovative solutions to tackle one of the most complex threats humanity has ever faced. New data from the 2020 Goalkeepers Report reveals that the COVID-19 pandemic has a dramatic impact on progress toward the SDGs. Decades of progress controlling diseases such as malaria, TB and HIV art at risk. Young people have been particularly affected by the repercussions of the pandemic, especially when it comes to employment, education and of course their health. A more sustainable future with holistic policies and robust healthcare systems cannot be built without considering young people’s perspective. The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow—we need youth leadership if we are to catch up with the ambition laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals. As young leaders rise to the challenge and contribute to leading the response through these trying times, it is more important than ever that they connect, learn, and innovate—and HYPER is the platform to do it.